A famous gay sauna in Seoul has banned old, unattractive foreigners, according to a source who was refused entry.
Black is a gay bathhouse in Shinnonhyeon, Seoul that made the headlines in 2012 when the owner was arrested for allowing gays to have sexual intercourse in his public bathhouse.
About 20 people were engaging in a sexual act when the police burst into the sauna according to media reports.
The business still thrives today as people consider it to be a “hot place” but people are also being turned down because they are too old, too fat or from an ethnic minority.
“Clearly foreigners for them means white people and not Asian because I saw a Chinese guy going inside which is a clear discrimination based on race. I was very offended by this policy.”
He said it was very disappointing to see “an already discriminated minority such as being gay goes on to discriminate against another minority such as being a foreigner.”
An employee of Black, however, said to The Korea Observer that he would have allowed this customer in if he looked attractive and that it is inevitable to have a discriminatory policy because it needs to attract “hot” males to make the place “hot.”
“You cannot enter here if you are fat, or 45 years or older. We allow young and slim white customers but try to prohibit all South East Asians because we get complaints from other customers,” he said.
An employee of Prince, a popular gay sauna in Shinchon, says that Prince and many other gay saunas in Seoul have a stricter policy than Black to fill their bathhouse with customers who have a strong sex appeal.
“We need to make the majority of our customers happy to stay in business,” said an employee of Prince.
The employee said that gay customers are too picky and hard to satisfy.
Prince and other gay saunas, including Shelter in Seocho, Seoul, refuse to have customers who are older than 39, fat or South Asians.
“It is very hard to satisfy all. Some young men even complain that we don’t have enough old men,” the employee of Prince said.
Goo Soo-jin, a naturalized Korean citizen from Uzbekistan, filed a complaint with the human rights commission for being denied entry to a public bathhouse in Busan in 2011.
The commission ruled that her rights were violated, but no penalty was handed down to the bathhouse because Korea does not have an anti-discrimination law that penalizes business owners for discriminating against customers based on race.